Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform with robust financial management solutions. NetSuite also includes customer relationship management (CRM), professional services automation (PSA), and e-commerce solutions.
NetSuite is considered a pioneer in cloud-deployed software and was founded in 1999, only a month before Salesforce, another such pioneer. Unlike many of its alternatives on the market, NetSuite was originally designed for cloud deployment. 86% of ERP software is now deployed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Who uses NetSuite?
NetSuite is used by small- to medium-sized businesses with complex operations. Users tend to be manufacturers that require inventory management and e-commerce features, advanced accounting, and ERP features or professional services providers such as lawyers, auditors, and IT consultants who require project and resource management for client projects and utilization rate management for billable staff.
Key features and benefits
At its core, NetSuite is an ERP solution, providing management for orders, production, supply chain, human capital, warehousing and fulfillment, and procurement. Compared to competitors, it puts a strong emphasis on financial management and offers analytics and reporting, making NetSuite an all-in-one ERP solution.
In terms of financial management, NetSuite tracks financial data and automates essential accounting functions. It also has reporting, planning, and billing features; a general ledger; tax management; fixed assets management; cash management; payment management; and revenue forecasting. The ERP and financial features work across multiple currencies and tax codes, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, and E.U. countries.
All of these financial features support billing, payroll accounting, tax calculation, management reporting, and sales. They also aid businesses with accounts receivable and payable, deal closings, financial reporting compliance, and audit-readiness.
Features that pertain more specifically to professional services include project management and documentation, labor utilization, reporting, billing, and time recording. These features integrate with NetSuite’s accounting, CRM, and payroll systems.
In terms of convenience, NetSuite is a modular product, meaning businesses can pick and choose which combination of services best suits their operational needs. Custom process workflows can be created to meet business needs. Pricing is based on business size and modules selected.
As a cloud solution, NetSuite offers all the benefits of SaaS, such as remote access to the service, cloud storage and analytics, technical issues handled on the vendor end, and a degree of out-of-the-box customizability.
Due to its being a SaaS product, NetSuite’s somewhat less customizable than comparable locally-installed applications. NetSuite’s broad range of features can also be too much for businesses that are smaller or have less complex operations.
Watch a comprehensive video rundown of NetSuite features:
Alternatives to NetSuite
NetSuite alternatives are numerous, and include services that deliver comprehensive ERP, CRM, PSA, or financial features; can handle large businesses with complex operations; and that offer cloud solutions, such as:
- SAP S/4HANA
- Oracle ERP Cloud
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Infor M3 and CloudSuite
- Sage X3
- Service Now